East Oxford: St Clement’s Street

St Clements Parish Buildings

The architect’s drawing above shows the St Clement’s Parish Buildings on the left, and the building now occupied by St Andrew’s bookshop on the right. It appeared in the Building News of 27 May 1887.

These adjoining buildings on the corner of Boulter Street in St Clement’s replaced the former Cutler Boulter Almshouses. They were designed by Harry Wilkinson Moore in 1886 and built by Messrs Walker in 1890–1.

Victoria Cafe

The building on the right was originally a Working Men’s Institute, but from 1889 it is listed in directories as the Victoria Coffee House. The above postcard dating from c.1920 would have been produced for advertising purposes, and the text reads:

“Victoria Cafe, St. Clement’s, Oxford, Mrs. Hazell, Manageress. Well Aired Beds, Good & Reasonable Accommodation, for Cyclists & Commercials, Boarders Taken.”

Although the above card only mentions Mrs Emma Hazell (nee Tompkins), her husband, Walter James Hazell (1873–1938), was the proprietor of this café, and his obituary in the Oxford Times for 4 November 1938 reads:

The death of Mr. Walter James Hazell occurred at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, on Saturday. He had been proprietor of the Victoria Cafe, St. Clements for 33 years & for 26 years sexton of St. Clements Church. His wife died six months ago. They leave one daughter. The funeral, which was conducted by the Rector of St. Clements (Rev. A Murray Thom), took place at Headington on All Saints Day….

The café then closed, and the building appears to have been used as an annexe of the Mission Hall next door. In 1941 it is listed as the Old Oak & Old Palace Senior Boys’ School, which had probably been evacuated from London.

In 1949 the building became a Gospel Book Depot, and today it is the St Andrew’s Christian Book Centre.

St Clements Street

References to St Clements parish buildings:

  • Oxford Chronicle, 16 October 1886
  • Oxford Chronicle, 15 October 1887
  • Oxford Chronicle, 11 October 1890
  • Oxford Chronicle, 17 October 1891
  • Bodleian MS Top Oxon c.105, fols. 164–172

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